Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Celebrations!

This would be my first Christmas spent with Karla, and one of only a handful spent away from my extended family near Pittsburgh. Decided to make the most of it, and didn't disappoint! Get yourself a fresh cup of coffee or tea, this is a long one....

Present wrapping party! Watching Julie and Julia of course.

Christmas Eve means you get to open ONE present...

Perfect timing, she opened up a new pair of pajama pants.

I got a sweet new pair of cooking tongs, gonna be great especially for the grill. (WOW I have amazing hair...)

The cats were already enjoying this present opening gig...

Cleaned house, ran a few errands, pretty lazy day. Come evening, it was time to get dinner rolling! Dan and Liz were coming over for dinner and present exchange, yay. Tried out a new recipe, here it is prepped and ready for the oven. There's a whole, cut up chicken in there too!

How cute are these two?

Look what Dan brought for us to sip!! Ooooo yummy.

Fun present exchange!! LOL Check Dan and Liz out... Dan's trying to hand her a knife...

Haha, awesome stress ball

Dan trying to figure out Evan's present (their dog)

And Dante trying to figure it out

Karla was VERY excited about what was in this box

Hahaha, sorry honey, had to post these pictures. Too funny. For those who don't know, Karla loves elephants. and coffee.

Thanks for the sweet multi-tool guys!

*ding! Dinner's done. Grab the dutch oven out of the stove, peel away the tin foil off the pizza dough we put around the lip to make a nice seal, go ahead honey lift the lid. What happened next, and her face when it happened, had me laughing so hard I couldn't breathe...

Yes, that is the handle from the lid... It popped right off... She was so shocked!! I was crying....

Once I regained my breath, we pried the lid off and oooooooooooooh now that's nice! Yes, it was as good as it looks! Will be making this again, although adding green chili next time. Served it up, and I almost forgot to take a picture.

Stuffed, it was time for some games. We played Fact or Crap for hours!! Laughed way too much...

So, Dan's allergic to cats... Check out what very shy, timid cat was obsessed with him!

LOL!!  Really was a great night. Stayed up very late laughing, telling stories...

Christmas morning was finally here! What a joy. Now, what does Christmas morning require? For Karla, its eggnog:

For me? Well thanks to Auntie Barb, it's cinnamon rolls. These however were NOT Auntie Barb's cinnamon rolls...

The boys get to open their stockings first, cause who doesn't love to see happy pets??

Yum yum

Cats turn! No treats for them though, do you know how hard it is to keep cats from getting fat??

Jax likes to sit on his toys. THEN he goes to work on it... LOL!!

See?? LOL!!

Ever throw cat toys in under the tree in between the presents? HAHAHAHA, see, this is why I love cats... So much better than television!

Jax went bananas for the new toy... He was turned on high for atleast an hour.

No joke, check out the slideshow, there are more pictures of him.

Time for our stockings... Hehehehe, I hit a home run with this one, she was rolling on the floor laughing... Lets just say you could set your clock to her bathroom habits...

These were a huge hit too, pickle bandaids! Karla loves pickles like most women love chocolate

We both made out like bandits! I think Karla turns my little stocking into a magic carpet bag to fit all that stuff in it.

Kodi's thought on the matter? "I'm full of treats and what's with all the shenanigans?"

Jax, mind you, is still going crazy... Dante has joined him playing as the pile of wrapping and tissue paper and boxes grow...

One of Karla's favorite gifts? These slippers from Uncle Pete! I can't tell you how many times she almost left the house wearing them since.

Our favorite presents I think I can say came from Mom and Dad. Beautifully framed photos of us from Dan and Liz's wedding. Thank you so much.

Our friends Dano and Jo got Karla the largest gremlin bell for her bike I've ever seen! For non-bikers, a gremlin bell is a bell you hang on your bike down near the engine. The "gremlins" that plague your bike are attracted to the shiny bell, then when the bell rings the noise knocks them out of the bell. Get it? Well, they are usually about the size of your thumb. It's no secret Karla's bike has a lot of gremlins, heck it's 1 year older than she is... Check this out!

She loves the Wizard of Oz, and that's a flying monkey on steroids! Her bike should run purely out of fear now!

They got me a bell too, and they hid it in the bottom of a bag of...


Loads of more awesome stuff!! What a great morning. Luke's thoughts:

Cats were still at it!

Gram, thanks for the soap and soap dish! It works perfectly in our bathroom, and we really needed a new soap dish! Ours was old and gross. Luke loved it too.


Karla made me a string of beautiful sounding bells for the front door. No joke these are perfect, I love them.

Luke is all about helping

What a mess! The cats were in heaven.

Who wants some Hatch green chili infused tequila for Christmas? *grin

We leave the big pile of fun for the cats and headed for John and Angie's. Angie's mom was in town too. There was so much food it was ridiculous, but it was so incredibly tasty. We literally grazed the rest of the day. Hung out, told stories, opened presents, played Apples to Apples. Perfect!

Mader (as in "ta-mader, but without the ta") is ready for his present! Karla and I love shopping for dog toys.

"Good toys!" his brother Jack says

John was very excited about the new set of tupperware we got them! LOL!

Opened the box they got me and thought, new camping pillow?? (ha, it was the packing material)

They got me a great set of waterproof overgloves for the bike. Thanks guys! Finally I should have dry hands!

Haha, this one was great. Remember over Halloween Karla had the red fingernail polish on that she couldn't get off because we don't own nail polish remover? LOL excellent present!

Funny especially as we had done one similar. Angie makes the most amazing pickles, Karla goes through them like vitamins. Well, how about this for a gift? Returning an empty pickle jar!

It's a good thing Kathy, Angie's mom, really liked the dip we made, because we bought her some!

Every year I make a calendar for John and Angie from photos I we've taken from the previous year. It's great fun to make them, and they seem to enjoy looking at it the rest of the year!

Thanks to John and Angie for all the great stuff and Kathy for the beautiful card! We opened some more presents then hit Apples to Apples hard. LOL that game is fantastic.

It takes a unique sense of humor to really get the most out of this game... (match the green adjective with the best red noun..)

We had been taking care of Teddy, my sister Allison and her boyfriend Sammy's cat. He's a complete hoot, but doesn't like other pets much so he stays at their house and we just stop by twice a day. Well, we had presents for him (of course), but not enough time on Christmas day for a long enough visit to do them justice. So, the morning after Christmas we drove over for a nice, long visit.

This cat is incredibly outgoing and very lovey. And somehow does all this without being annoyingly needy! They really scored, found him at the Denver Dumb Friends League (shelter).

Didn't take Teddy long to find his presents!

Gotta have a special breakfast on "Christmas" morning!

Yep, good day.

Really one of the best Christmas' on record for me! Great food, fun friends, waaaaay too much laughter, fantastic presents. Now only if I could combine all we did this year with the extended family!

Full slideshow of 206 photos